NEW DELHI: A political war of words has begun between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress after Enforcement Directorate revealed that alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case Christian Michel has named 'Mrs Gandhi' and 'son of the Italian lady' during questioning.
Launching an attack on the 'family' named by Michel, the BJP alleged that the former Congress-led Centre compromised with national security. "The revelations by ED show that there is ‘son of Italian lady’, ‘big man’ and ‘R’ involved. It points to a family. Congress government was a govt of corruption that compromised with national security," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Meanwhile, the Congress alleged that there is pressure on Michel to name a family. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said: "There is pressure on Michel to name a particular family, why is the chowkidaar trying to pressurise the government agencies to name a family? BJP scriptwriters are working over time."
During the hearing, the ED told Delhi's Patiala House Court that Michel has named 'Mrs Gandhi' during the interrogation. ED also said that he has also spoken about 'the son of the Italian lady' and how he is going to become the 'next prime minister of the country'.
The ED told the court that Michel has identified how the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was removed from the deal and was later offered to Tata instead.
Michel will remain in Enforcement Directorate's custody for seven more days. The court ordered Michel’s lawyers to maintain a distance while meeting him. They have also restricted the time limit of lawyers to meet Michel to 15 minutes every morning and evening. The order comes after the ED had sought a ban on Michel's lawyer's access to him alleging that the Britisher was being tutored from the outside.
However, his lawyer Aljo K Joseph told the court that Michel had a query regarding something and needed a legal opinion on the same. The lawyer admitted that Michel tried to give them something but it was immediately pointed out that he was slipping a paper and it was taken away before they could have a look.